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I hear conflicting things about ethnicity and college applications. Some say it's an advantage because of "diversity programs", others say it's a disadvantage (because, frankly, non-white folks are excelling already). I don't really know which way it goes. Maybe it even depends on which college.

As a permanent resident I believe the kid can get in-state tuition rates, which is an advantage (financially). Just like a citizen. Really, all the permanent resident thing does is allow you NOT to have to mess with the INS very much (once every ten years to renew it). Unlike a visa with it's various restrictions. Plus the student can work while in school (I believe on a student visa that is not allowed unless you also get a work permit I-94).

If the student is gifted, and excelling in high school (NHS, good test scores, etc), then more doors are opened to her.
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